There’s only 1 sleep until we go SAVAGE!
Are you ready for The Butcher and his Roux?
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“Woman, you better stop and listen to me. You’re gonna be mine.”
The callused hand wrapped around Roux Tucker’s wrist. Almost sending her apoplectic as she wrenched herself free and pushed her hands into Reno’s chest.
Fury and irritation hardened her husky voice box.
Her new gel nails meant she couldn’t put her fist into his face as she wanted to.
“Don’t ever put your hand on me again, asshole, or I’ll cut it off and shove it up your ass.”
Maybe he had a brain in that baboon sized head of his because he didn’t touch her again. But he blocked her path with his mammoth body.
She tipped her head back, scowling up at one of her dad’s idiot men.
Dressed in denim and leather and the most prized possession of any biker, his Diablo Disciples cut. Reno was a tall man, with midnight black hair in a short shaggy cut and a clipped beard. Quite intimidating to anyone else. But she could give a fuck that he was scowling at her. She’d been avoiding his calls for days.
Roux was what they called a MC princess. Her father was the president of the DDMC, therefore untouchable by any man that came through the club doors. Until recently that is, and she didn’t know why.
For years, her dad told anyone that was new that if they even so much as blinked in Roux’s direction, they’d have their cock and balls cut off and displayed on the wire fence outside. It was a fast and hard rule, and no one dared to cross Axel Tucker. She was an untouchable woman, growing up in a lifestyle that was far too rough and dangerous for a female, yet she loved it.
Those club men were her family.
Idiots and drunks and lazy bastards for the most part. But her family nonetheless, and she was always protected by them. Too much at times.
But for the past four months, Reno, one of her father’s patched men, had made strides to let her know they were going to be a thing.
Like this was the twilight zone.
He’d never shown interest in her before, not even mild flirting.
Like hell they were.
He must have lost his damn mind.
What weirded her out the most was her dad, the president of the club, and her fiercest protector, didn’t so much as blink when Reno made a move in front of everyone. He didn’t take out his gun and shoot Reno’s kneecaps off. Didn’t threaten to hang him over the roof by his feet.
“Give him a chance,” is what her dad actually said to her.
She’d had a few choice words for her dad that day, but she couldn’t think about it. Not when she was trying to shake her fucking shadow.
“You know I like it when you’re feisty, Roux.” He smirked and licked his lower lip like he thought it was the sexiest move on the planet. Maybe it was. Maybe his whores fell for it, but she didn’t.
She didn’t feel any type of way for Reno.
Not a tickle.
Not a flicker of attraction.
He was one of her dad’s newer guys, not one she’d grown up with. That would even creep her out if one of those guys started hitting on her. They’d bought her first period pads and gathered as a group to exact revenge when her prom date was a complete douche canoe.
“Go away, Reno. I’m not in the mood for your bullshit today.”
The sigh exited her lungs when she felt him following her through the clubhouse. She was starving and Chains, her dad’s VP, was always cooking something. She hoped it was grilled cheese. She needed grease to get over her hangover.
“What you in a mood for, princess? Can’t be work, didn’t you get fired again?”
“Don’t call me that,” she said, entering the kitchen to the heavenly scents of cheese.
He wasn’t wrong. She did get fired. Again.
The seventh job in two years but who’s counting?
It’s not her fault everyone she’s worked for is a degenerate asshole pervert.
She wasn’t suited for an office.
They looked down at the way she dressed.
She knew they first saw her tight clothes and the full sleeve of tattoos. She wore her ink black hair in a high ponytail with half of her head shaved around the side. And then her many piercings adorning her ears and nose. Roux didn’t give the impression of someone hire worthy.
Fuck them, she thought.
Her attire or how she looked shouldn’t even matter.
She’d swallow her boredom and go back to working in the office here. Diving through the shit storm of invoices her dad ignored for months on end. No wonder the club was running in the red.
It wasn’t ideal, she hated it actually, because it meant her dad kept a closer eye on her. He didn’t treat her as a twenty-one year old woman. To Axel, she was the baby girl he raised alone because her mom, a former biker chaser, couldn’t cope with a screaming kid and took off before Roux was out of diapers.
Yeah, she wasn’t forgiving that mom of the year any time soon. The bitch could rot for all she cared. Anyway, moving on.
Tucker’s didn’t forgive easily, and they held a grudge for eternity.
It was one of life’s lessons she’d received from her bossy dad.
She was young, not bratty. Sure, she might be a bit of a handful at times, but what woman wasn’t? She’d grown up around the MC, it meant she matured a long time ago, around men who drank, cavorted, and caused holy hell.
She didn’t aspire to a nine-to-five job. There was something she was good at, but no one approved of her gambling.
“You gonna hold up and talk to me or what? I wanna take you out tonight.”
“No, fuck off,” she said sweet as can be as she took a seat at the long table, already occupied by three men who were feeding their faces. They snickered as Reno sighed, turned on his boots and left.
“Go easy on him,” Chains said, putting a grilled cheese in front of her. He knew her tastes so well. He should, he helped raise her. An odd man, but she loved him anyway. She smiled and said, “nope. Where’s dad?”
“Out,” he answered vaguely.
The club life was a hard one. Violent, turbulent, often dangerous.
She didn’t live at the clubhouse, but she did have a room. The only woman who did.
The only other women through the doors were biker chasers and they came to party. It was nothing new to Roux. Like watching boring TV seeing those chicks sashay in every weekend hoping to fall on a dick and get his property cut.
She’d rather cut off her crown and glory than be that woman.
Not for Reno.
Not for anyone.
And not the biker she did want.
But the less thought about him the better.
She munched her way through double helpings of a grilled cheese slathered in jalapeño jam, while Chains did his own eating sitting opposite her.
“What’s with everyone around here lately?”
He looked up. “What do you mean?”
“Everyone’s acting nuts. Secretive. Dad’s stressed.” Not to mention this new courtship that was out of left field and Reno’s allowed to live. It didn’t make any sense. “Is the club in trouble?”
Something crossed through Chains’ eyes for a second. A look of guilt? Concern? Then it was gone, but she’d caught it and it put rocks into her stomach.
Their club had never been what you’d call popular.
It warred a lot over the years with the Raging Rebels until that club got firebombed out of existence. Things had been better for the last two years until some of the boys started getting arrested for stupid things. At the last count, six of them were doing long stretches inside. Roux knew it put strain on the club to stay afloat.
Then not so long ago, her now friend, Penelope was used as a bargaining chip for her dad to earn some easy cash. Roux had known then that the club was going through some shit but trying to get anything out of Axel was next to impossible.
“You know I can’t talk about club business, Roux.”
Yeah, yeah. So, fucking outdated. She could easily be a patched member. She knew the club life inside and out, but chest beating men didn’t take in women other than to fuck and party with them. Like they thought they’d sit around the church table talking about periods and menopause. Fucking cavemen.
Fortunately, she loved her mismatched family and didn’t have an urge to become a biker bitch, not in that way anyway.
“Why is that always the go to answer? Just tell me to mind my own business if you don’t want me to know something.”
She was more than a little pissy and it showed when she moved the plate aside.
Chains chuckled. “That temper, girlie, it never changes. You were the same when you were six years old and kept falling off your bike. We thought you were gonna kick shit out of it.”
She smiled remembering. But focused in on the topic at hand, this wasn’t time for memory lane.
“Is Dad in trouble?”
“Axel is fine.” Was all he said as he pushed up from the table, dumped his dishes for a prospect to clean later and he exited the kitchen as she knew he would.
Something hinky was up but she didn’t know what.
Licking butter from her thumb, she shrugged to herself. No point worrying, she’d know soon enough, she supposed.
To get in her father’s good graces, seeing as how he was going to be pissed that she was jobless again, she headed to his office to dig through the mess he had in there. When she saw the man himself talking to Reno.
The pair looked intense and it sent cold to her now full stomach. She stopped in the doorway and watched them.
Reno gestured with a hand, shaking his head at whatever her dad said to him.
Axel Tucker wasn’t old. Almost thirty-eight, shoulder length brown hair with a takes no shit attitude. She knew what people said about him, that he wasn’t liked much. She didn’t care. They didn’t know him, what he’d had to do at seventeen to raise her alone. No wonder she preferred to hang out with guys, all her old girl friends wanted to fuck Axel and that was just gross as hell. Sure, he wasn’t ugly, but it was gross to think of anyone she knew hooking up with him.
She must have made a noise because both men’s heads swerved her way.
Reno smirked as he always did. Dick. She ignored him and smiled at her dad.
“I was just gonna dig into some office stuff.” She told him.
“Hold off on that right now, get over here, Roux.”
Hardening her eyes between the two men, she took herself over. Her suspicious mind relaxed a little when he wrapped a big arm around her and dropped a kiss on her forehead.
She noted Reno was staring at her like a simpering little idiot. She ignored him and the secret look in his eyes.
“Listen, baby.” Her dad started in a voice so serious that she lifted her face, getting that hinky feeling in her gut again. “You need to start taking Reno seriously, okay?”
Concrete landed in her stomach.
This was the shit that made things so freaking weird around here lately.
Her dad didn’t encourage her to date. At all. Anyone.
If it were up to him, she’d be a practicing nun.
The small number of failed dates she’d had always came to an untimely end because no one could stand up to the intimidation radiating out of Axel Tucker.
But never—not ever in a million years—has he ever encouraged her to date from within the clubhouse. She’d see flying pigs first.
About to unglue her tongue from the roof of her mouth, to ask what mind altering drugs he was taking, he went on, with a tick making his jaw tighter. “Far as I’m concerned, you’re engaged to be his old lady, so get used to it and stop fucking throwing a tantrum.”
Judgement delivered. Axel strode off like he hadn’t just brought a hammer down on her life and left her with a smirking guy.
Blood rushed through her ears as she finally took a breath.
Reno’s old lady?
Staring daggers at him, she spun around and headed for the door.
Fuck this whole fucking club.
“And fuck you too.” She aimed over her shoulder at her so-called fiancé.